Profoundly aware that regular high season happenings are restricted this year, it only takes a little effort to find something new to do that in the past one might not have considered.
I’ve said all along that there are hidden blessings to be found at this strange time.
Learning and partaking in a “botanical day” minutes away reminds me that the beach and sun are only a small part of the offerings in Riviera Nayarit. Walking comfortably through a rainforest is a respite from suntanning, and an experience many are unaware of when visiting our paradise.
Lo de Perla Jungle Garden, in San Pancho on the north side of the bay, is a delightful walk-in nature location. Enjoy your stroll while viewing beautiful flowers, fauna, birds and butterflies unique to this ecosystem; as well as fruit trees, bromeliads, orchids, ferns, vines, fantastic fungi, mammals, reptiles and hundreds of insects.
Knowledgeable guides share the geography of the Sierra de Vallejo, and history of the ancestral peoples of the region, along with their customs and traditions. At the end of the tour, you will visit El Santuario, a nursery containing a collection of 70 species of orchids endemic to Nayarit. Each season offers jungle garden transformations as new species grow and different birds arrive.
For more details, see https://lodeperla.org.
Rancho La Cruz
At Rancho La Cruz, situated on the outskirts of the town of La Cruz de Huanacaxtle, you can enjoy a beautiful horseback ride inland taking in all nature has to offer. The ride takes approximately one hour up a slightly inclined dirt road to Rancho La Cruz.
Once at the ranch you get to relax in the peaceful surroundings, explore a little and feast on grilled, marinated beef tacos (arrachera) with guacamole and salsa with the beverage of your choice (beer, wine, margarita or soda). The total duration of the tour is approximately three to four hours, returning back to La Cruz by vehicle. For reservations, call 322-158-3770.
An introductory offer costs 1,200 pesos per person (minimum age 10 years, minimum group size 6 people).
If walking is your jam, Destiladeras Beach, a short drive past La Cruz, is great for a brisk stroll or for lazing and experiencing the dynamic waves. I’ve often giggled my butt off boogie boarding as the waves picked me up, delivering me to the shore. At the Destiladeras Beach Club & Restaurant you can be served at the restaurant or rent a table and chairs for the day and hang out as the waiters serve you.
When I want to feel like I’m really in Mexico, I visit La Saranderia restaurant on Playa Manzanilla in La Cruz. I dig my toes into the sand, order a margarita and devour their namesake dish, sarandeado fish, a traditional red snapper delight. Every family in Nayarit has its unique version of this delectable yummy and the Galvez family serves up my fave, using their recipe of 25 years, with spices of the region. Sit back, sip your cocktail and enjoy the beach as they prepare the perfect fish for you and your friends. Sometimes I mix it up and order another of their signature seafood dishes. They also serve traditional Mexican food: burritos, guacamole, quesadillas, salsa Mexicana, chips, etcetera.
Often there’s Mexican music, mariachi and more, and it feels like I’ve entered another world! Located just under the Real del Mar development on the hill it’s easy to get to with a short beach walk or by driving. Open daily from 10 a.m. -7 p.m. See http://lasaranderia.mx.
I’ll share more on Valentine’s specials in my next missive, but I suggest you might make a reservation for an afternoon pool party at Los Arroyos Verdes, an oasis just minutes from Bucerias.
Owner Lupe has planned a delightful day. Cheko Ruiz’s big band will be playing – Cheko’s voice with the accompanying horns, violin and more is divine! They’ll be serving paella and prizes will be given for the best dressed people, including one night in the honeymoon suite, bottles of wine, margaritas and handmade sandals!
Only 40 tickets are available. The price of 550 pesos includes food, music and that huge pool! Call 329-298-6314 for reservations.